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Flooding disrupts education of several thousand children

500 primary schools in Sylhet region, 117 in Gaibandha still shut

OUR CORRESPONDENTS | July 11, 2024 00:00:00

The premises of one flood-affected primary school in Barlekha upazila of Moulvibazar district (left) and another in Gaibandha district — FE Photo

Learning of several thousand children faces setback as a total of 508 primary schools in Sylhet division and 117 in four upazilas of Gaibandha district have remained closed due to floods.

In Sylhet, although flood waters have receded in the low-lying areas of the region, academic activities of 508 schools in Sylhet division remained suspended yet due to flooding, causing concern for the students as well as their families. However, just a few days ago the figure was 889, sources said.

Surroundings of some of the institutions are still inundated although water has receded from many schools' classrooms on ground floor while premises of the others still remain submerged.

Besides, even after recession of floodwater, most of the roads to the primary schools are either inundated or still unfit for walking.

A total of 259 schools in various upazilas are still being used as flood shelters, official sources said.

Contacted, Deputy Director the Primary Education Directorate, Sylhet divisional office Md Jalal Uddin told this correspondent that 508 schools have remained shut in the region for several weeks hampering academic activities of the children.

However, amid a little development during the last few days many institutions have resumed their academic activities as over 900 schools were shut for severe flooding.

Of the shut 508 schools, highest 354 schools are in Sylhet district while 130 are in Moulvibazar, 22 in Sunamganj and two in Habiganj.

Meanwhile, about 650,000 people are flood-affected in the division while 366 shelters are in operation where 19, 820 flood victims are staying still.

Of them, highest 9,635 are staying at 215 shelter centres in Sylhet.

In Sylhet district alone, 1,076 villages in 153 unions and some city wards are flood affected, said an official report of the district administration.

In Gaibandha, a total of 117 primary schools in four upazilas have remained closed due to floods in Gaibandha.

Gaibandha District Primary Education Officer Md. Shahidul Islam confirmed the matter to the FE.

He said that four upazilas of the district have been affected by floods due to increase in water levels of Gaibandhar's rivers and streams.

Most of the educational institutions in the four upazilas affected by the flood are surrounded by water.

Water has entered some school grounds and classrooms, and roads have been submerged in some areas, cutting off communication with schools.

Teachers and students are unable to reach the educational institutions due to flooding; consequently academic activities in 117 primary schools of four upazilas of the district have been kept suspended.

Shahidul Islam also said that the schools in the flood-affected areas which have not been submerged have been kept ready for use as shelters.

The schools in which academic activities are suspended include 17 in Gaibandha Sadar Upazila, 28 in Sundarganj upazila, 45 in Phulchari upazila and 27 in Saghata upazila.

It is to be noted that due to continuous increase in water levels of Gaibandha's rivers for the past few days, the char (shoal) and low-lying areas of Gaibandha Sadar, Sundarganj, Phulchari and Saghata upazilas of the district have been flooded.

About half a million people are stranded in floodwater. Vegetables, jute and Aus paddy have gone under floodwater in different areas.

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